Etihad Stadium boost as the blue moon rises higher

It has been common knowledge for a while that the rise and rise of Manchester City will continue its upward trajectory and not just on the pitch. The Abu Dhabi United Group also want their patch of east Manchester to be better than, or on par with, the best stadium estates in the world in any sport.

New plans will give the Etihad stadium the grandest of grand approaches from the North. It all looks a bit space-age although it will disturb externally the flow of the external appearance.

Fans will be able to walk on the roof of the stadium although maybe not watch games from there

To that end the club has submitted a planning application to expand the capacity of the stadium to 60,000 with a larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier. This is 7,700 more than the stadium presently holds. At the same time the club will create a covered City Square fan zone with capacity for 3,000 people while providing a new club shop museum and hotel. The hotel will be big with 400 beds.

All these new features will be incorporated into the North Stand of the Etihad Stadium. Oh, and fans will be able to walk on the roof of the stadium although maybe not watch games from there. The work is anticipated to take three years so expect everything to be ready by the start of the new season in 2026.

Internal View Facing Towards North Stand Low Res
A pitchside view of the proposed North Stand Image: Manchester City

Here's the club’s press release.

‘Having reviewed all of the feedback submitted via the consultation questionnaire, the Club is delighted to confirm that fans were in favour of the concepts and proposals presented.

‘Proposals include several connected all-weather facilities, fully integrated into the stadium, centred around an expanded North Stand with one larger, single upper tier above the existing lower tier, increasing capacity to over 60,000. ‘Above the upper tier, a sky bar with views overlooking the pitch has (will be) introduced, together with a stadium roof walk experience. In line with the Club’s initial designs, a covered City Square fan zone, with capacity for 3,000 people and a wide variety of food and drink outlets, a new club shop, museum and a 400-bed hotel are also proposed.

Etihad Stadium Copy
The North Stand as it is presently - compare and contrast Image: Confidentials
External View Of Proposed Development Low Res
The proposed North Stand Image: Manchester City

‘Modest workspace for use by start-up and medium-sized organisations looking to co-locate and collaborate with the Club, City Football Group and Etihad Campus partners also features in the planning submission.

‘Viewed from Joe Mercer Way, the hotel and food and drink outlets are situated on the left flank of the development with all other facilities contained within the right flank. LED screens which are approximately four stories in height will also feature at the end of each flank.

‘The Club’s proposals represent over £300m investment into East Manchester through a major construction project that would take up to three years to complete, offering 2,600 jobs prioritised for people from Greater Manchester.’ 

View Of Covered City Square Low Res
The covered City Square proposals at the North Stand Image: Manchester City
Champions League City Fans Gather Copy
The existing City Square Image: Confidentials

The stadium enhancement ties in with the Etihad Campus 'which encompasses the City Football Academy, a performance training and youth development facility, a 7,000 capacity Academy Stadium and the City Football Academy where Manchester City Women’s Football Club and the Elite Development Squad train and play home games'.

The new work will complement, with the hotel in particular, the £365m Co-op Live Arena which opens this winter with a 23,000 capacity. 

The Etihad enhancements may also encourage Manchester United to get a sharp move on with its own stadium improvements when (or if) the new owners are announced. 

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